Parents across the UK and Europe can now set daily screen time limits for their kids on Instagram thanks to new parental controls.
The controls, which were initially introduced in the US, enable you to set daily time limits between 15 minutes and 2 hours on Instagram usage for your children.
If they try to use the app after the time limit has passed, they will only be able to see a black screen.
As well as this ,there is a new ‘nudge’ feature which encourages teens to look at other content if they’ve been scrolling the same subjects or searching the same terms too often.
Parents will also be able to see any accounts that their children report, and why they did so, to help encourage family conversations about confusing or upsetting topics.
The new features come amid increasing criticism of Instagram’s lack of child safety features, with its algorithm potentially exposing young people to harmful or age-inappropriate content.
Justin Patchin, co-founder at the Cyberbullying Research Center, said: “Our research shows that regular parental supervision and co-participation is the best way to inoculate kids from the worst aspects of the internet.”
Screen addiction is on the rise across all ages ever since the start of the pandemic.
Most people check their phones 58 times per day on average, with some spending more than 9 hours a day in front of screens.
This is leading to a spike in mental health issues and problems at school for many children and teens.
Instagram is certainly aware of this. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company has previously admitted internally that its products “make body images worse in one in three teen girls”.
These new controls could go some way in finally addressing these issues—if parents start using them.